Semiahmoo Peninsula entertainment entrepreneur Bill Brooks says BEC Entertainment’s role as an online streaming provider evolved out of necessity. Contributed photo

Semiahmoo Peninsula entertainment entrepreneur Bill Brooks says BEC Entertainment’s role as an online streaming provider evolved out of necessity. Contributed photo

White Rock event promoter evolves into online presenter

Pandemic strategy has added versatility, Bill Brooks says

There’s no question that the ongoing pandemic has had an effect on local entertainment.

While live performances have been suspended until current gathering restrictions are lifted, Peninsula live event entrepreneurs have either had to cease operations entirely, go into a holding pattern, or look at other ways to connect with audiences.

One of the answers, inevitably, has been to present entertainment content online – such as BEC Entertainment’s ongoing Friday Night Specials series of pay-per-view shows (next up, May 14 at 8 p.m. B.C. time, highlights vocalist, keyboardist and saxophonist Deanna Bogart)

BEC may appear to be a new player in the White Rock and South Surrey online scene, but it’s not really new to the local entertainment scene, as managing director Bill Brooks explained.

And its evolution as an entertainment provider is progressing week by week, he said.

Up until the end of 2019, he said, his company, Everything Liverpool Canada, had been organizing live shows with Fab Fourever (“they’re kind of like our house band”), and promoting tours to Liverpool including venues such as The Cavern, and other sites associated with the Beatles and other Merseyside groups.

Hoping to broaden the appeal by doing more live events in Canada, he changed the name to British Events Canada.

“I wanted to focus on British Invasion-type acts. We were looking at doing one a month in the Ontario market and in the B.C. market. The first one was supposed to be May 8 (2020) in Hamilton.

“On March 10 last year I was looking to put out releases to get some lead-time on promoting the show. And we know what happened then!”

Brooks said he spent much of the rest of 2020 planning for a return to live public shows.

“I kept tuning into the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce online chats, and they kept asking me ‘what are you doing?’ and I kept saying ‘planning for next year,’” he said.

When it became clear that the green light for live concerts was not coming anytime soon, Brooks started looking in earnest at promoting events online, now as BEC Entertainment.

Fortunately, he already had contacts with the Ontario-based online broadcast platform OnViva, which, he said, functions as a “one-stop shop” – not only providing streaming services but also handling all ticketing and reservations for shows.

“They approached me last June about doing online shows and I said I’d think about it – I was waiting to see what happened.”

When they re-established contact in December, OnViva was able to provide even more services – and Brooks was definitely interested.

The only snag has been finding content that didn’t look thrown-together, he said – and recordings of full concerts are rare.

“A lot of bands and acts think they have a full concert show on video, but they’re really a series of clips from here and there, ” he said.

Adding value to that, Brooks started interspersing the acts’ live performance footage with new interviews and introductions with the artists, conducted by BEC’s resident host, veteran broadcaster Barry Forward, which has led to the current Friday Night Special format.

And he’s branching out to provide other shows during the week including a new program, Views of the Blues, focusing on interviews and blues and jazz style performances, being put together by noted L.A.-based guitarist Kal David.

Tickets for the shows are $10, and, after the initial broadcast, each is offered as an archived pay-per-view program, he noted.

There’s also a charitable component to the enterprise, he noted — one dollar from each $10 ticket goes to Music Heals, which supports access to music therapy programs in local communities.

The growing sophistication of his online product doesn’t mean that he has abandoned hope of a return to shows in front of live audiences, Brooks said.

With his enterprise re-branded as BEC Entertainment, he has an even more versatile base from which to proceed, he added.

“When I go back to doing real, live events again, it’ll be known as BEC Live – but I’ll use both names interchangeably on the website,” he said.

For information on BEC’s upcoming shows, visit https://www.onviva.live/en/channel/bec.392



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

EntertainmentMusicPop Music

Just Posted

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)
Catalytic converter thefts continue to plague Delta

Police say the thefts are on the rise across the city, with seven incidents on Thursday, June 17

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read